I’ll take “Cauliflower Ears” for $800, Alex.
If you’re a “Jeopardy!” viewer who doubles as an MMA fan, you may have done a double take on Thursday’s episode.
Former UFC fighter and Season 8 “Ultimate Fighter” competitor Dave Kaplan was a contestant on the long-running TV quiz show hosted by Alex Trebek. But despite a solid effort, Kaplan came up short. (And no, that’s not a knock on “Diamond” Dave’s 5-foot-6 height.)
In MMA parlance: Well behind at the start of Double Jeopardy, Kaplan tried some spinning ish that would’ve put him right back in the fight. But when he missed, it was all downhill and he eventually was knocked out by opponents Anneke Garcia and returning two-day champion Jessica Holloway.
Champ Holloway had $9,600 to start Double Jeopardy. Garcia had $3,600, and Kaplan was in third at $2,400. He picked first to start the round and chose the $2,000 clue in the “Menagerie” category. He was first to ring in with his knowledge of the trapdoor spider to quickly bump himself into second place.
He stayed with his strategy of picking the higher-dollar clues and went to “School Within a School” for $2,000 – which hid one of two Daily Doubles in the round. Kaplan then went for his spinning ish by wagering his full $4,400 – which would have put him just $800 behind the leader. But when he whiffed on Penn State instead of Carnegie Mellon, it dropped him to $0 and he never recovered.
Late in the game, with three clues left in the “Theater” category, Kaplan wasn’t mathematically out of it yet. But Garcia rang in first on the $1,200 clue to ensure no matter what happened, Kaplan would finish with no money. That made him ineligible for Final Jeopardy, and Garcia went on to win the game by knocking off the two-time defending champ.
Kaplan appeared on Season 8 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” which aired in the fall of 2008. He was a lightweight member of coach Frank Mir’s team opposite fellow head coach Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Kaplan fought his way into the “TUF” house by submitting Fernando Bernstein in the first round in the season’s first episode. Then he was Mir’s third lightweight pick of four on Episode 3.
On the season’s eighth episode, Kaplan was submitted by Phillipe Nover in the first round and was eliminated from the tournament. In the next episode, a drunk Kaplan taunted Tom Lawlor to try to knock him out with a punch, giving him a free shot. Eventually, Lawlor took it and put Kaplan on the floor in the house.
Kaplan got an official first UFC fight at the TUF 8 Finale in December 2008, but was submitted by Team Mir teammate Junie Browning with a second-round armbar. He did, however, pick up a $25,000 “Fight of the Night” bonus in the loss. A second fight in the promotion at UFC 98 didn’t go his way, either. He dropped a split decision to George Roop, who also was one of his Team Mir teammates.
Fourteen months later, a loss to Dominique Robinson at a Tachi Palace Fights event put Kaplan at 3-4 overall as a pro and wound up as his final fight on record.
As for his setback on “Jeopardy!,” don’t be cruel toward “Diamond” Dave. Simply making it onto the show is a fairly major accomplishment. The tryout to get on the show used to be in person with 50 clues in 50 different categories, with 15 seconds to answer each in written form. Now the tryout is online – still with 50 clues in 50 different categories. And while there is no precise bar for how many a prospective contestant has to get correct to advance to the next level, the number is believed to be 35 of 50.
And that just puts someone into the next round of tryouts. From there, to make it on the show, a contestant has to pass muster as an on-screen personality. So the reality is, as hard as it is to make it to the UFC and be a professional athlete there, what Kaplan did by getting onto a “Jeopardy!” episode probably was a lot harder.
The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie’s blog space. We don’t take it overly seriously, and neither should you. If you come complaining to us that something you read here is not hard-hitting news, expect to have the previous sentence repeated in ALL CAPS.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Ex-UFC fighter Dave Kaplan makes appearance on "Jeopardy!"